New External Scientific Member at the MPS
Professor K. R. Sreenivasan from New York University, leading expert in fluid dynamics and turbulence research, joins the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research.
The Max Planck Society has appointed Prof. K. R. Sreenivasan as External Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Göttingen (Germany). Prof. Sreenivasan is a world-renowned researcher in the fields of fluid dynamics and turbulence. His appointment strengthens the institute’s endeavors to study turbulent and dynamical processes in planets, the Sun, and sun-like stars.
The solar system is a turbulent place: driven by the heat from within, complex motions in the interiors of solar-system planets may generate magnetic fields in these planets. In Earth’s mantle, flows carry internal heat to the surface where they drive plate tectonics. And within the Sun, hot plasma rises to the surface, cools and sinks down again. These turbulent flows are responsible for a myriad of solar phenomena such as its granular surface pattern or its different rotation speeds at different latitudes. The exact mechanisms are, however, still poorly understood.
The physics underlying all these processes and effects is Prof. Sreenivasan’s area of expertise. Using experiments and computer simulations he strives to uncover the fundamental properties of convective and turbulent flows. Through collaborations with all three departments at the MPS his expertise will help understand a variety of astrophysical flows – from the sedate flows within the Earth’s mantle to the much more dynamical ones in the Sun. An ongoing collaboration between Prof. Sreenivasan and researchers from the MPS has led to a reevaluation of existing models of solar convection. Future projects will include the study of the effects of solar rotation on turbulence in the Sun.
Prof. K. R. Sreenivasan holds NYU faculty appointments in physics at the Faculty of Arts and Science, mathematics at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, and mechanical and aerospace engineering at the Tandon School of Engineering, where he is dean emeritus. Among his numerous distinctions, he is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the US National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has published more than 300 articles in scientific journals and books.